SANTA FE, N.M. — In a surveillance video released by Rio Arriba County Monday, a deputy is shown using a Taser on a jail guard’s groin almost immediately after the guard walks up to the deputy outdoors at the jail’s sally port entrance.
The tased detention officer collapses, is helped to his feet by the deputy within about 10 seconds, then walks around and bends over holding his knees and groin and squatting as if in pain.
The deputy who tased him goes back to working with something in the trunk of his patrol car and doesn’t render any additional aid to the tased detention officer, who walks away after about two minutes.
Sheriff’s office Maj. Randy Sanches previously confirmed Deputy Leon Gallegos is still on paid leave for a pending investigation into the June 3 incident. Sanches previously described the tasing as “accidental,” but said the sheriff’s office is investigating whether it resulted from horseplay.
The incident begins as Deputy Gallegos pulls up to the jail in a patrol car, the jail surveillance video shows. Timothy Gallegos and another man walk up as Deputy Gallegos opens the trunk of the car. The video has no audio.
Deputy Gallegos draws his Taser and shocks the jail guard, Timothy Gallegos, in his midsection without hesitation. Timothy Gallegos was sent to a clinic for medical attention.
Timothy Gallegos wrote in a report that he was joking when he told the deputy to stop “honking his horn at his jail,” according to documents released by the county Friday.
“When he said this isn’t your jail, we then both laughed and he pulled his issued taser out and tased me in the groin area,” Timothy Gallegos wrote.
Detention Officer Terrence Garcia wrote in a separate report that Timothy Gallegos spent a few moments groaning on the ground before he “stood up and stated he had been tased in the genital area.”
In another tasing incident, on May 10, Rio Arriba Deputy Jeremy Barnes tased a 15-year-old special education student at Española Valley High School. Barnes is still on full active duty as a use-of-force panel investigates the matter.
State Attorney General Hector Balderas said his office is “aggressively” investigating the school incident, and the boy’s mother has filed a lawsuit against the county. The Española school board condemned the use of a taser on a student for what it deemed as a disciplinary matter.